Yes, Paid Protest Outfits Are Real — and Now One Is Being Sued for Extortion


Paid protesting is big business these days — and astroturfing powerhouse Crowds on Demand is on the receiving end of serious blowback in the form of a lawsuit filed by Zdeněk Bakala.

He’s a Czech investor who alleges the company engaged in an extortion campaign against him, as the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.

On its website, Crowds on Demand says its nationwide services include “protests, rallies, advocacy, audiences, PR stunts and political events” — and the company refers to itself as “the ultimate guerrilla lobbying and government relations firm.”

The outfit proudly claims it can “execute operations” with just a few days’ notice anywhere in the United States.

In the extortion case, Bakala says investment manager Pavol Krúpa hired the company to engage a band of protesters to march near his Hilton Head, South Carolina, home — and to lobby organizations for his removal from the advisory boards on which he sits, such as the Aspen Institute and Dartmouth College, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Bakala alleges Krúpa wants $23 million — or he will carry out his threat to intensify the campaign, according to the Times.- READ MORE


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